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Roland Edward Nairn Jr


Assigned to 336BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. Staff Sergeant Roland Nairn flew as a togglier in B-17 bomber crews of the 95th Bomb Group. The job of the togglier was to arm and release the bombs over the intended target on each mission.
Whilst flying his 10th mission, over Handorf, on 21-Mar-45, Nairn was hit by flak, wounding his left arm. Despite his injury, he regained his post and released his bombs at the correct time. He received the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart, a medal awarded to those wounded in service. As Nairn was left-handed he felt that the ‘German Intelligence knew everything!’
He was referred to a US Army hospital in Essex before being sent home in May 1945. He boarded the Hospital Ship USAHS Charles A. Stafford at Liverpool docks for what he called the ‘slow and bumpy ride’ back to the United States.

Awards: DFC, AM, PH, WWII Victory, EAME.


Units served with

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 336th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-31867 'Go Getter'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 29/12/43; Kearney 12/1/44; with Wilmot Chamberlain force landed Morrison, FL 31/1/44; Memphis 19/4/44; Kansas City 20/4/44; Kearney 24/4/44; Presque Is 28/4/44; Grenier 30/4/44; Assigned 335BS/95BG [OE-P] Horham 2/5/44; battle damaged...


Associated Place

  • Horham

    Military site : airfield
    Horham airfield was planned and built for RAF use, but handed over to the Eighth Air Force and used initially by the 47th Bomb Group. When they joined the Twelfth Air Force in January 1943, it became home to the B-26 Marauders of the 323rd Bomb Group....

  • Liverpool

    Military site : non-airfield
    A depot for materiel shipped from the United States - known as an 'Intransit Depot'. Exact location unknown.


Event Location Date
Born Washington, DC 12 October 1921

Son of Roland E Sr and Frances Juanita Sweeney Nairn.

Enlisted Army Medical Center, District Of Columbia 17 September 1942

Army Medical Centre District Of Columbia

Based Horham 1944 – March 1945

Assigned to 336BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF.

Blackmore Park Hospital, near Botesdale, Suffolk 1945

Stayed at 65th General Army Hospital at Blackmore Park, Botesdale following injury over Handorf, March 1945.

Discharged USAAF 19 January 1946
Died Silver Spring, MD 21 April 2004
Buried Arlington National Cemetery 5 May 2004

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia
Section 54 Site 51


Date Contributor Update
01 February 2022 10:00:50 Al_Skiff Changes to service number and events

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2022 11:54:52 general ira snapsorter Changes to aircraft associations

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /

Date Contributor Update
20 August 2021 16:46:25 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2014 10:07:03 Emily Changes to highest rank, role, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations, mission associations and media associations

-Nairn outlined his service in correspondence to Roger Freeman, this is held with the originals of the associated media. Transcriptions of his correspondence can be found in the captions of associated images.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:24:25 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / newspaper & Combat Sup